If you’re like our clients, you receive phone calls and emails daily from direct media salespeople hoping to capture your time and more directly, your ad dollars. Even after the devastating blow some industries took in 2020 due to Covid, most advertising media expenditures including digital ad spending have rebounded and are projected to continue to grow across most industries. (see chart)
As a former salesperson for both print and digital media companies, I can tell you that not all salespeople or media companies are created equally. And at the end of the day, a strong salesperson can more than compensate for less than stellar advertising offerings. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that, no matter how good, mediocre or bad their offerings are, it is the job of direct sales reps to be biased toward the offerings they are selling. If you want to test this theory, without revealing how much your total budget is, ask a direct sales rep what % of your media budget should be allocated to the advertising option they are representing.
On the other hand, firms offering media planning and buying services are the exact opposite of biased—they are objective. Whether the firm is compensated through commissions/discounts they earn on the media placements they manage for clients, if they are being paid a media management retainer and passing all media commissions/discounts through to their client, or some combination of both in a hybrid compensation model—firms that manage media buys on behalf of clients are incentivized to be objective—they get paid the same no matter where your media is placed.
To provide objective media management services to clients is why Stamp offers media planning and buying as one of our services. We work as partners with our clients to manage their advertising dollars to return the highest ROI possible. And we also serve as the “middleman” between clients and the seemingly unlimited number of salespeople vying for ways to get into clients' budgets. In fact, our Agency of Record clients love to respond to all the media inquiries they receive by saying: “We are happy with our agency of record, Stamp Idea Group. If you believe you represent a marketing or media opportunity that you would like them to evaluate on our behalf, feel free to reach out directly to them.” This gives clients a way to respond without having to waste time learning about opportunities that won’t be the right fit or dealing with high-pressure tactics from aggressive salespeople.
Objectivity also serves an important role in delivering campaign continuity—to ensure that every marketing message is staying “on brand” and sending a consistent message that is working to achieve defined objectives. When multiple media outlets are working independently from each other and each is providing creative services, it is impossible for them to be objective about their creative vs. that of other providers. However, when firms offering creative development services are providing the creative or managing multiple vendors to provide creative, objectivity plays a crucial role in guiding all of a client’s creative efforts to accomplish the stated goal and work in unison to build a brand.
There are so many intricacies to ever-expanding media options and an equal number of creative continuity factors that cannot be explained in one blog post. This is why many companies hire an advertising agency like Stamp (who has more than 60 years of media planning and buying experience as well as a solid creative campaign management team) to navigate the relationships, the planning and the creative development process. If you'd like to learn more about this service offering, reach out to Susan.